The number of older Americans living alone is on the rise. Nearly 16 million people aged 65 and older in the US lived solo in 2022, three times as many who lived alone in that age group in the 1960s. And as Baby Boomers age, that number is expected to grow even more, raising significant questions about the country’s future. Living alone has become increasingly common in recent years. In the United States, for example, the number of people living alone has increased by 50% since 1970. While living alone has many benefits, such as independence and privacy, there are also some potential health risks.
- Doctors are increasingly worried about loneliness.
- Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon-general of the United States, called loneliness an epidemic, likening its impact on health to obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes per day.
- A study found that in America people always or often feel lonely.
- A study published in 2010 using this scale estimated that 35% of Americans over 45 were lonely.